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Human Resource Planning - Features & Limitations

For a project manager, it is imperative to know about the human resource planning, their features and limitations as well. A lot of project managers are unaware about the human resource planning. It should not be the issue in your case. If you want to run your project successfully, you need manpower, you need machinery, you need equipments – you need to know who will do what, what will be the roles and responsibilities of the team members who positively provide the input for your project. All of your questions can be answered through human resource planning. Let me explain about the features of human resource planning:

Human resource planning has the following basic concepts:

• Planning for future needs by deciding how many people, with what skills, the organization will need. That can decide the fate for your project.
• Planning for future balance by comparing the number of employees needed to the number of present employees who can be expected to stay with the organization. A project manager should give more time to the human resources experts to work on that.
• Planning for recruiting employees if the number needed exceeds the number of present employees or if the number needed is less than the number of present employees.
• Planning for the development of the employees. Make sure how you will be providing training to the team members or newcomers in your project ideally. Now you can ask me why human resource planning is required.

There are a lot of advantages to correct human resource planning: Mind you, like other planning, human resource planning is also iterative in nature and progressively elaborated. As you start working on the project, you will be noticing some change in your project and accordingly may be you need to revisit the planning process … it may be that you need to provide some extra training due to increased scope in your project. May be you need to hire some extra people having the same expertise you need, to cope with the increased scope.

The need and importance of human resource planning is as follows:
• Future manpower requirements: It really helps in determining the future manpower requirements for your project. This planning can solve the problem of over staffing or understaffing, effectively.
• Execution of important functions: Human resource planning provides valuable and timely information for designing and execution of functions like recruitment, selection, transfers, promotions, layoffs, training and development and performance appraisals, etc. So you can understand how important human resource planning is for a successful run of your project.
• Reduction in the costs: Human resource planning helps the organization to anticipate imbalances in human resource. This, in turn, facilitates reduction in resource costs.
• International strategies: Global operations are becoming very common. International expansion strategies are not possible without human resource planning. It facilitates the process of meeting staffing needs.

Limitations of the human resource planning:
• It is very difficult to ascertain the future manpower requirements of an organization, the future is always uncertain. As such the predictions are bound to go wrong.
• Human resource planning is more relevant in countries that face scarcity of human resources. In a country like India, human resource planning is of little assistance since manpower is available in abundance. Also the legal compulsions render human resource planning redundant.
• Human resource planning is a time consuming and a very costly process. The recruitment and selection process is time consuming and requires the services of experts to conduct. This can all add to the cost.
• Human resource planning is beneficial where adequate skilled resources are available. In cases where skilled manpower is not easily available, human resource planning serves no purpose.


Per PMI (Project Management Institute), it is very imperative for a project manager to know about the process of human resource planning, how to develop it, how to use it in the project perfectly. A project manager simply can’t say he is not bothering about human resource planning. As per the old saying, a leader is one who can manage the team to get the work done at the right time with right price. The same fundamental goes to the project manager as well while executing the project. And this is possible only through good and solid human resource planning.

For a project manager, it is imperative to know about the human resource planning, their features and limitations as well.

Pradip Dwevedi, PMP is currently the Lead PMP Trainer / Corporate Trainer at Reputed Global REPs, India and also the Head – Project Management at Invida Trans IT Solutions PVT LTD. Prior to this, he was Divisional Manager at Stylo Graphic Imaging and before this he was working as Facilitator/Team Leader at Aptara.

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